Introduction to Arduino: an electronic universe on a single board

Arduino Logo

You may know what is Arduino Or maybe you are one of those who don't know it yet. Arduino is a low-cost board with a success comparable to that of the Raspberry Pi, although its uses are very different. This article is an introduction to this fantastic platform, but more case study articles will be published in the near future to show you what can be achieved with the Arduino.

In principle you don't need to have any knowledge of electronics or programming, as in the articles we will try to explain everything step by step. So don't worry in that sense, although if you already have some basics, so much the better. But when you start creating your projects with Arduino you will see how your knowledge of these techniques has increased, and practically without realising it, without effort. But you can always download this free practical PDF course on the Arduino platform.

Whether you are an electronics student, a hobbyist who likes to make electronic inventions at home, or an electronics professional, you are a perfect fit for the Arduino platform. Why not join the club and get one of these boards to get you started?

What is Open Hardware?

Many of you will know that Open Source or free software exists, but a smaller percentage will have heard of Open Hardware. Yes, there is such a thing as free or open hardware. It is all hardware whose specifications, diagrams and all kinds of information are available to the public. is distributed free of charge. So all the secrets are at your fingertips, you can know how it is made and how it works to achieve all your projects with it.

Proprietary hardware with its limitations restricts almost all relevant information about a product, so you can know very little about it unless you know how to reverse engineer it. This prevents copies and derivatives from being distributed without the manufacturer's consent, but it undermines the will of all those who want to learn and create their own hardware without restrictions.

Open Hardware

What is Arduino?

Arduino is a free hardware board or platform with which you can satisfy your needs. The Arduino hardware is very simple, it consists of an electronic board with an Atmel microcontroller (available in both AVR and ARM architectures), digital and analogue inputs and outputs, as well as connection and power ports.

Arduino UNO

The price of these boards is not high (and in our shop you will always have them at the best price on the market) and among the existing Arduino models (Uno, Mega, Due, Leonardo, Mini, LilyPad,...). What varies from one model to another is basically the number of inputs and outputs available, as well as the type of microcontroller they integrate. The most common is the Arduino UNO. This board can be your project partner and you will be able to make all those ideas that for now were only in your head come true.

By the way, you know that Arduino is an Italian project and its Germanic name means something like "Arduino".The one who helps friends". Yes, Arduino can help you to make your daily work easier by creating a gadget, it can teach you a lot about electronics and even make you money, don't you believe it, continue reading...

What do I need to get started?

To get started you need the Arduino board and an integrated development environment (IDE). The IDE is a software that can be downloaded for free from the official website of the Arduino platform, where you will also find a lot of interesting information about this platform. Arduino IDE is available for Linux, Mac OS X and Windowsso you won't have any compatibility problems in this regard.

Arduino IDE Interface

With the development environment and the Arduino board, you will be able to start making your projects. Of course, you will also need to have the necessary electronic parts for your project or Arduino shields. For example, if you want to make a traffic light with Arduino you will need some red, amber and green LEDs, as well as some resistors... But don't worry, electronic components are extremely cheap, so for a few euros you will have everything you need to start creating.

To make things easier for you, the developers have created add-ons for the platform that save you from having to learn the programming language. One of these add-ons is ArduBlock, which allows you to program Arduino graphically. So it would also be advisable to keep it in mind (in the PDF course you have the information about its installation and use, both Arduino IDE and ArduBlock).

What can I do with Arduino?

Almost anything. You could say that the limit is your imagination and the current technology available. But with Arduino you can do anything from very simple projects that can turn on a few lights to sophisticated control systems or robots.

Another of the barriers that we can find are the number of inputs and outputs that an Arduino board has and even the memory available to save our program, but this can be solved by using several Arduino boards connected in series, as you will see in some practical articles that we will publish. But don't be disappointed, in principle one of these boards can perform very complex tasks.

Arduino Howto

Can I make money with Arduino?

The short answer is yes. Because it has a free licence it is extremely flexible and anything you create with it you can commercialise. The licence Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 under which Arduino is distributed is open and allows freedom of creation. With it, it is possible to create your own Arduino board distributions to sell on your own or to modify, as well as to make money with your own projects created with the official Arduino board.

Basically the licence allows us to share, copy, distribute, perform and publicly communicate the work, make derivative works and make commercial use of the work. Provided that let's recognise the credits of official workWe will distribute it under the same licence and not use the registered Arduino name for our own work.

That's the beauty of the copyleft and hardward and free software. For more information about the platform's licence, you can consult the section on the official website about it.

Buy - Arduino UNO rev 3

Read more - Creating a Media Centre with your Raspberry Pi and XBMC, Free Arduino Hands-on Course

5 thoughts on “Introducción a Arduino: un universo electrónico en una sola placa”

  1. Hello...I found this website with this very valuable information, I will dedicate myself to read its content...well I would like to start in this world of Arduino, my project will be to photograph water drops, using the Arduino system ..... here my first question... What is the difference between the Arduino Nano v3 and the Arduino mini Usb? Well thank you very much for the answer. Luis

  2. hello everyone....thanks for your work...I have a question: if I create a product derived from arduino, for example a product composed of an arduino and sensors and would like to market it is necessary to obtain the FCC to be able to market it?.... greetings and thanks to all for your help.

    1. Hello, depending on its use, it may have to pass certain controls. The FCC is a US agency, so if you market it outside the US you don't have to register it with the FCC. But I guess to sell the product on a large scale you need some certificates... Maybe you should ask someone who knows the law about that.

      But I think that if you sell it on a small scale there should be no problem, since the Arduino boards have already passed these controls and the sensors and electronic components that you integrate have also passed them separately, otherwise none of these components could be sold.

      The problem would come if you have manufactured any of the components... or for example if you want to use it in certain critical fields such as medicine. Where any device must pass rigorous analysis and inspections.

      Greetings and I'm sorry I can't help you more on this. But we are not experts in law and commerce....

  3. Hello, thank you for your article.
    I wanted to ask, based on my ignorance, what are professionals who work with Open Source Hardware called?

    That is, for example, if I need to make a web page, I would hire a web programmer. If I need to make a ROBOT with ARDUINO (for example), who should I hire?

    Thank you in advance for your comments.

    1. Hi. Those who work with hardware, whether open or closed, are usually electronic engineers. If they specialise in robots, they will have studied robotics engineering or even mechatronics...

      I hope I have answered your questions. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Regards

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